This topic will hopefully help many people develop their own local history through these online free tools.
All free tools have thier limits after all they are free. A number have Pro versions for a better user experience!
If you could contribute some of your knowledge to this forum, then I sure many people would be very grateful!
OLD MAPS, If you don't have any copies of maps this is extremely useful.
Brief instructions: e.g. Swansea in search, Go, once loaded press left mouse button and drag map to desired area. Then left click to load map area, in the left map year pane are all the maps you can now use.
There is a limit to this site as the whole design is based around the purchase on maps.
GOOGLE MAPS, very useful.
Brief ideas: Dragging little person to source. Earth, Satellite and varies tick boxes for more information on the right. On left panel: Directions and saved areas. Maps can also be saved for offline use, if you don't have internet access while using mobile hardware.
GOOGLE EARTH, This is a free download so please follow instructions (Don't blame me if it doesn't work!)
Brief instructions for people who are not used to downloading, otherwise ignore:
Click, Download Google Earth button.
On this page, take your time, 1st unless you want Google Chrome and to make it your default browser, untick boxes. Have a quick look at the system requirements if your hardware complies. Read terms of service,
press the Agree and Download button.
A small window opens up - click on save file, by default this goes to your "downloads" folder in "my documents" folder. Source file called - "GoogleEarthSetup.exe" double click file and it installs.
Basics: Worth using start up tips, use search bar, if you have lost something it's probably sorted under the "View" drop down box, especially the "reset". Click on the menu button for the drop down boxes, even if you don't understand, one day there's a good chance you will. Hover over the icons just to familarise yourself with the names!
Clock Icon: Go back in time in time, using the slider from current year to 1945 aerial imagery, (there's a big jump between 1999 & 1945). There is a difference between 1945 aerial imagery and 1999+ satellite imagery positioning, you'll find this by e.g. adding a placemark (below) and see the difference. May be start with trying to find the infamous Cockett pond in 1945!
Add placemark - click on icon, move pin, see the latitude and longitude changing, (placemark window) add description adjust properties of pin. Then remember to "File/save" with several options, such as the "save image", probably worth making a folder named "Fforestfach History" and put it in there.
Add polygon I prefer not use this tool as I haven't found the need yet.
Add path Similar to the pin, click on icon and click on each desired points to make a path, worth looking at measurements to view size.
I'LL LEAVE IT HERE FOR NOW!
(For your reference the Images can be used for non commercial use, in a non cropped - unedited way, keeping all Google Earth logo and information, as seen on my site e.g. Work/Collieries.